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Old 08-14-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
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Offroad Use

I'd like to hear from those that take their Escapes offroad. How well do they stand up to being towed over gravel roads and rougher spur roads? i.e. roads considered 4WD access only.

Thanks,

Timmay!
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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Re: Offroad Use

Welcome aboard. Timmay.

I have pulled the 19 on gravel, and a few miles on trails now with no problems in the least. If you plan to do this the raised axle adds 2" more clearance, and there already is plenty with a straight axle.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Offroad Use

Hello.
We have a 17' and tow with a 5 speed 2000 4Runner. I don't believe our trailer has a "raised axle".
Gravel roads are okay; 4x4 roads not so much. The long hitch to axle length makes for easy bottoming out on those cross road drainage ditches and other bumps. The trailer has a really great frame for jacking out of high centering positions... I haven't tried crossing streams yet - pretty sure the 'egg' has vents on the bottom and it would allow water in.
Lots of dust seemed to get into our trailer (and the truck too). We started putting painters tape over the window vents on long roads. If you plan to go on really bumpy gravel roads I recommend you better secure the propane tanks with lock nuts and secure or carry extra wing nuts for the window openinng. Also if you're going far and/fast consider a rock screen for the rear of your truck. Also pack carefully as your cupboards may come open and spill contents. And make sure the sink fawcett stays over the sink (we use and inverted cardboard box with a slot cut in it.
We've been into many forestry sites without problems. I wince when someone passes (in either direction) at speed as I picture the dents and chips in the trailer and truck but so far there's be little real damage. We have those soft fabric rock shields on the front of the trailer - one day I'll make a light metal shield to replace those.
I broke off the little lever thing that holds the door open when it caught on some roadside shrubbery.
Nice to sleep in a trailer in the forest when its pouring rain...
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:58 PM   #4
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Re: Offroad Use

Just got back from some pretty rutted gravel logging roads in the queen charlotte islands, british columbia. My challenges were getting on and off a ferry, and then handling potholes on fairly active logging roads (ie. they get graded a couple times a year). These are gravel logging roads, a finer gravel, with the occasional large bedrock chunk that can't be removed and of course, lots of potholes. I was towing a 17 footer with 14 inch wheels and no lift, with a gx470 (v8).

My fancy auto levelling suspension acted up when I got on our little ferry, I ended up dinging my jack (?) what ever the tube is called. My suspension at that point was at the lowest setting, kind of like a minivan. No damage, a mild crease, the ferry folk used boards to give me clearance. I towed it over 20km of logging roads like that and found I had to travel at 10 km/h over the pot hole sections. I would guess that my minivan like clearance was about 1.5" at that point. I dragged that jack pipe 3 times on this trip, just a light drag. These pot holes would be about the 4 inch deep variety - so definite speedbumps. I find it easy to avoid most potholes with this trailer, as it is exactly the same width as the vehicle.

On the trip home, once my suspension began acting like an SUV again, I was able to handle these roads really comfortably at 60 km/h (of course slowing down for pot holes - if the SUV bumps, I crawl over it with the trailer).

So I would say, take it on the main logging roads - not the spur roads, unless you have modded it up. 4X4 is a pretty subjective term, but I will go on record saying that an unmodified 17 foot escape with 14 inch wheels, can comfortably handle active gravel logging roads, if you drive calmly! If you are prone to 'pinning' it, get 15 inch wheels and as much lift as you can. Hope this helps,

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Old 08-27-2009, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Offroad Use

--has anyone switched from 17-19 or 5th for off road. just wondering about the difference if any.
--as I like to use the old free forestry camp sites was thinking maybe the 17 would be the best bet?
--any handling turning difference in the 2 axle on 19 vs 1 on 17?

--I haven't made up my mind yet on which would be the best rig.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:38 PM   #6
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Re: Offroad Use


I'll never forget the Old Coot arriving at a forestry site with his 17' Boler. It had considerable overhang at the rear. I could hear him coming from half a mile away. When he arrived, I noted the torn fiberglass at the rear.

So, check the overhang. The shorter, the better.

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Old 05-25-2015, 09:21 AM   #7
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For serious off-road use, I want one of these -- one each of the trailer & tug!

http://www.kedroncaravans.com

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Old 05-25-2015, 03:47 PM   #8
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A recent Good Sam Trailer Life magazine had the NASH 22H featured as a good off the grid trailer with a ruggedized raised suspension, rock guard and really big tanks for its size to stay out there a long time.

We went and looked at it. We like our Escape 19 better.

Northwood Manufacturing: Nash Floorplan
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #9
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We looked at a Nash prior to buying our Escape. The Nash weighed a ton, the weight which was primary made up of staples. Sales guy made the mistake of leaving evidence of construction in view.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvino View Post
... I haven't tried crossing streams yet - pretty sure the 'egg' has vents on the bottom and it would allow water in.
It has drain holes at the low points of the body, to let water out... the theory being that the body is kept above the water, which is normally how it works on the road. I agree - fording streams would likely result in some water coming in under the floor.
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